Hot Coffee

Overview

Most people have heard the story of the woman who ordered a cup of coffee from McDonalds, spilled it on her lap, and sued the fast food chain for millions of dollars. The case is often used as an example of the abuse of the tort system in America, but not everyone knows the truth about the case. Stella Liebeck received third-degree burns that required skin grafts after she spilled the coffee on herself while seated in her parked car, and after racking up over $10,000 in hospital bills, McDonalds offered her a ...
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Overview

Most people have heard the story of the woman who ordered a cup of coffee from McDonalds, spilled it on her lap, and sued the fast food chain for millions of dollars. The case is often used as an example of the abuse of the tort system in America, but not everyone knows the truth about the case. Stella Liebeck received third-degree burns that required skin grafts after she spilled the coffee on herself while seated in her parked car, and after racking up over $10,000 in hospital bills, McDonalds offered her a settlement of only $800. Liebeck took the matter to court, and it was the jury that found in her favor and bumped the settlement up to $2.9 million, though she asked for significantly less; a judge later reduced the penalty to $480,000. While the facts of the case seem reasonable, public relations firms working for McDonald's spun the coverage in the company's favor, and their version of the incident is the one best known to the public. Filmmaker Susan Saladoff examines how major corporations are using disinformation and lobbying power to make it harder for ordinary citizens to use the courts to settle grievances against businesses in the documentary Hot Coffee, which uses this and three other cases as examples of how corporate power is corrupting America's legal system. Hot Coffee was an official selection at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
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Special Features

Deleted scenes; Interview with the Director; Take Action: What You Can Do; Trailer; Teaser
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/1/2011
  • UPC: 767685253335
  • Original Release: 2011
  • Source: New Video Group
  • Region Code: 0
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:26:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 26,696

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Susan Saladoff Participant
Technical Credits
Susan Saladoff Director, Producer
Erin Crumpacker Associate Producer
Carly Hugo Producer
Cindy Lee Editor
Michael Mollura Score Composer
Sheila Nevins Executive Producer
Alan Oxman Producer
Martina Radwan Cinematographer
Betsy Rate Associate Producer
Rebecca Saladoff Co-producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Hot Coffee
1. Frivolous Lawsuit Myths [2:51]
2. Stella Liebeck vs. McDonald's [4:50]
3. The Civil Justice System [1:41]
4. The Evidence and Verdict [4:29]
5. Tort Reform [4:13]
6. The Public Relations Campaign [6:58]
7. Caps on Damages [9:06]
8. Non-Economic Damages [6:51]
9. Judicial Elections [7:26]
10. U.S. Chamber of Commerce [10:27]
11. Mandatory Arbitration [18:09]
12. Gaining Justice [8:51]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Hot Coffee
   Play
   Scenes
   Extras
      Play All
         Interview with Director
         Frank Luntz: The Words Matter
         Hot Coffee, Mississippi
         Insurance Rates
         Take Action: What You Can Do
         Trailer
         Teaser
         Filmmaker Bio
         About Docurama
            Trailers
               Bob Dylan - Don't Look Back
                  View Trailer
               Air Guitar Nation
                  View Trailer
               A Crude Awakening
                  View Trailer
               The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
                  View Trailer
         Docurama Trailers
            Bob Dylan - Don't Look Back
               View Trailer
            Air Guitar Nation
               View Trailer
            A Crude Awakening
               View Trailer
            The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
               View Trailer
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